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How do I make Vista shut down quicker?

How do I make Windows Vista shut down quicker?

Hi, I've got Windows Vista and generally I'm really impressed with it, but recently it's taking forever to shut down. How do I make my laptop switch off in a hurry without pressing the power button?

Angela Yi

Hi Angela,

Generally speaking, the more apps you install, the longer it can take for Windows to shut down. Applications that install things called 'services' are the worst culprits as the PC has to wait for these to stop running before it can proceed.

To speed things up, you can tell Windows exactly how long to wait for these services to end. To do this, you'll need to enter a section of the operating system called the registry and alter a numerical value. Before doing so, we're obliged to instruct you to back up your system, or create a system restore point in case something awful happens or you make a mistake.

Once you're ready to proceed, you'll need to fire up the 'run' command box by holding down the Windows key + R. Next, type 'regedit' and hit the return key. This will launch the Registry Editor. Once here, you'll need to navigate to a section called


Do this by clicking the arrows to the left of each entry in the left window pane.

Once here, you'll see a 'key' in the right window pane called 'WaitToKillServiceTimeout' and an adjacent numerical value, usually '20000'. This figure represents the amount of time in milliseconds Windows will wait to kill a service while shutting down -- 20000 = 20 seconds.

You may want to change this value to 5000 (5 seconds), as this will improve your shutdown time significantly. We wouldn't go much lower than this, though. Experiment with different numbers to see how your individual system responds.

Hope this helps.